Year Inducted – 1996

The GABHOF has started a program segment to honor those whose playing days began in the early 20s, and before. We are indebted to Phil Dietrich (retired Akron Beacon Journal staff writer) and Paul Bauer (Old Rare Book Store) for furnishing the committee with information concerning these venerable players. The first to be so honored is Chuck Hostetler, whose Akron association was with the General Tire team in 1925, and again in 1927 as a member of the Akron Tyrites of the Central League. Chuck was born in Pennsylvania and raised in the Ravenna area. After playing for the Generals, he signed a pro contract with Providence, R.I. then to Akron. He was sold to Tulsa, OK in the Western League, and played a while for Topeka, KS. In 1944 the Detroit Tigers brought him up to the majors when he was 41 years of age, perhaps the oldest rookie ever, prior to “Satchel” Paiges’ entry into the American League. In any event he hit an outstanding .298 for 98 games. The following year he was relegated to a pinch hitting role. His contributions helped Detroit into the World Series with the Chicago Cubs. Chuck was a big favorite with the Akron fans during his playing days here.